Tuning

Best Fuel Injector Cleaner Additives – These Ones Will Make Your Ride Run Smoothly

best fuel injector cleaner

You’ve no doubt seen those little bottles sitting in the aisle of your local auto parts store. They make claims about cleaning your fuel system, reducing the build up and even giving you better gas mileage.  But the question is, do they work?  Are they worth the money or is this just a product that makes you think you’ve done something good for your car?  To answer this question, we are going to take a look at the best fuel injector cleaner and come up with some answers.

To accomplish this, our experts at Garage Chief will give you some base line information to help you understand what is in those bottles and what they do and don’t do.

We’ll cover the best way to go about using best fuel system cleaners and even give you some details on some of the top contenders in that space.  By the end of this article, you’ll be able to not only pick out the best fuel system cleaner but, more importantly, know why that is the right one for you.

Best Fuel Injector Cleaner Additive – Our Top Picks, Compared

editors-choiceBest Product Best Value   
editors-choiceBest ProductBest Value
best fuel system cleanerbest diesel injector cleanerbest diesel fuel additivebest injector cleanerbest fuel additivebest fuel treatment
item-titleChevron 65740 Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System CleanerLucas 10013 Fuel TreatmentSea Foam SF-16 Motor TreatmentBG 44K Fuel System CleanerRed Line (60103) Complete SI-1 Fuel System CleanerRoyal Purple 11722 Max-Clean Fuel System Cleaner and Stabilizer
• Cleans, restores, protects the entire fuel system
• Restores: lost power, acceleration, lost fuel economy, and operation of the fuel gauge sensor
• Reduces: rough idle, engine surge, hesitation, and spark plus fouling
• Cleans and lubricates the fuel system
• Increases power and miles per gallon
• Increases the life of pumps and injectors
• Easy and simple use kit
• EPA registered product
• Liquefies gum and varnish deposits
• Restores performance and gas mileage
• Proven to increase combustion quality and power output
• Compatible with all fuel system materials, alcohol-blended fuels and common fuel additives
• Contains synthetic upper cylinder lubricant
• Cleans to nearly 100 percent efficiency in one treatment
• Reduces need for octane by up to two points
• 3-in-1 fuel additive keeps new engines clean and improves vehicle's performance
• Improves fuel economy an average of 3.2 percent
• Prevents rough idle, hesitation and stalling
Weight
1 pound
Weight
8 pounds
Weight
1.1 pounds
Weight
11.2 ounces
Weight
10.4 ounces
Weight
1.2 pounds
Dimensions
9.4 x 3.5 x 3.3 inches
Dimensions
6 x 6 x 12 inches
Dimensions
2.8 x 2.8 x 7.5 inches
Dimensions
3 x 3 x 5 inches
Dimensions
2.8 x 2.8 x 9.5 inches
Dimensions
2.6 x 2.6 x 9.7 inches
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What’s the Best Fuel Injector Cleaner? Fuel Injector Cleaner Reviews

If you are in the market for the best fuel system cleaner, we have done some of the leg work for you.  We’ve tracked down six of the top contenders in the field and have done a write up on them.  While any of these can be a good choice, you’ll need to pay attention to a few things.

Primarily, you’ll want to make sure that you pick one that is made for the fuel source of your vehicle.  After that, you can pick based on chemical compounds or whatever else you find to be the most important criteria of a cleaner.  So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at our top fuel injector cleaner reviews.


best fuel system cleaner


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Best Product

Chevron 65740 Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner

Price: Approx. $14
Size Bottle: 20 oz
Size of Treatment: 12 to 20 oz per tank
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Chemical Compound: Polyether Amine
Frequency of Treatment: Every 3,000 miles

When you start looking at the Chevron 65740 Techron Concentrate Plus Fuel System Cleaner, you quickly see why we feel it is the best product out there. Not only is the best injector cleaner according to us (and LOTs of other people) but it does more to take care of the entire fuel system, including the fuel injectors, intake valves, and even the combustion chamber. It can help out if you have found that your vehicle has lost power, acceleration or fuel efficiency.

In addition to that, it will help to reduce rough idling, hesitation as well as spark plug fouling. But that isn’t all, this formula can also help stabilize the fuel in your tank for up to one year, so if you need to store your car for a longer term period, this bottle can help you out. The manufacturer recommends that you add a bottle to your fuel tank every 3,000 miles to keep your vehicle running at top performance. Don’t limit your thinking to just your car, this product will work in any gasoline engine including ATVs, RVs, water craft and lawn equipment.  It is also safe to use with any ethanol blend.

Get it here on Amazon


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Best Value

Sea Foam SF-16 Motor Treatment

Price: Approx. $12
Size Bottle: 16 oz
Size of Treatment: 16 oz per tank
Fuel Type: Gasoline, Diesel, Bio-Diesel
Chemical Compound: Petroleum
Frequency of Treatment: Every 5,000 Miles

If you are looking for a bargain while still wanting to get one of the best fuel additives out there, you’ll want to take a close look at the Sea Foam SF-16 Motor Treatment. At first, you might think that at a mere $12 a can there isn’t much that this can do for you, but for starters, it can go in just about any type of engine that you come across, it is safe for gasoline, ethanol blends, diesel or bio-diesel blends.  It will help to reduce hesitation and power surge amount other issues.

One of the major tricks that this can do in addition to working with nearly any fuel source is that it does double duty and can be added to your engine oil. It can help remove water and keep things running smoothly. This is one that after you use you’ll want to keep a case on hand since it can work in such a wide variety of situations and can help add performance back into your system it is a no brainer.

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Lucas 10013 Fuel Treatment

Price: Approx $30
Size Bottle: 1 gallon
Size of Treatment: 3 oz per 10 gallons
Fuel Type: Gasoline or diesel
Chemical Compound: Polyisobutylene
Frequency of Treatment: With Each Oil Change

Sometimes buying in bulk is the way to go as is the case with the Lucas 10013 Fuel Treatment. Instead of a small bottle that you would dump into your fuel tank, this is a full gallon of fuel. Lucas claims that this gallon will treat up to 4000 gallons of fuel, which will last you quite a while even if you add some in each time you have an oil change.  This will both clean and lubricate your fuel system, which can boost power, improve fuel efficiency and even reduce your emissions.

This is another option that is at home in both a diesel or gasoline engine and is useful for more than just your car, as you can add it into your lawn mower, ATV or any other engine that you use regularly. The one down side is that being a larger bottle you will have to not only determine the correct amount for your tank but find a way to measure out and apply you that to your tank.

Read customer reviews on Amazon right here


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BG 44K Fuel System Cleaner

Price: Approx. $18
Size Bottle: 11 oz
Size of Treatment: 
1 can per tank
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Chemical Compound: 
Polyisobutylene
Frequency of Treatment: Twice a year

Another great option is the BG 44K Fuel System Cleaner. This one is designed to work with gasoline engines but will work with any fuel system materials and any alcohol blends, so this is a great option if you happen to have a flex fuel vehicle. It works to quickly clean out the combustion chamber, fuel injectors, and the valves.

If your vehicle is dealing with problems like stalling, stumble, loss of power or hesitation after you press down on the gas pedal, consider adding some of this next time that you fill up. The manufacturer recommends that you add it to a near empty fuel tank and then fill the tank, to provide the most even mix, which is a good recommendation for any fuel additive that you end up using. This one particularly states that it is safe for use with catalytic converters and your vehicle’s oxygen sensor.  If you are wanting to make sure that your whole fuel system is clean, especially if you are running a flex fuel vehicle, this might be your best bet.

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Red Line (60103) Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner

Price: Approx. $13
Size Bottle: 15 oz
Size of Treatment: 
1 bottle per tank
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Chemical Compound: 
Polyether Amine
Frequency of Treatment: Every 3,000 miles

If you are looking at a fuel system additive that should be able to knock out any built up gunk in a single use to get your car back up to where it once was, you should consider the Red Line (60103) Complete SI-1 Fuel System Cleaner. They claim that a single treatment can return a vehicle back to nearly 100% of where it once was.  In doing so they further state that your octane need will drop down, effectively making this a fuel system cleaner and an octane booster.

While they recommend that you use some every 3,000 miles in order to keep your vehicle running smoothly and to ensure that there isn’t too much gunk building up in your system, they do state that this product is safe for continual use, if you want to add in a bottle with every fill up. That might be a little bit more than needed, but it is an option if you’d like to go down that route. This option has some of the highest levels of polyether amine of any of the fuel system cleaners that we’ve come across.

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Royal Purple 11722 Max-Clean Fuel System Cleaner and Stabilizer

Price: Approx. $11
Size Bottle: 6 oz
Size of Treatment: 
20 oz per 20 gallons
Fuel Type: Gasoline or Diesel
Chemical Compound: 
Polyether Amine
Frequency of Treatment: Every 3,000 miles

A great option that will work for both gasoline and diesel engines is the Royal Purple 11722 Max-Clean Fuel System Cleaner and Stabilizer. This one can not only help to clean your fuel system, to include fuel lines, intake valves, injectors and combustion chamber, but can also help to reduce hydrocarbons and CO emissions, which could be the key in passing an emissions test. By knocking out the build up in your fuel system it can help restore the maximum horsepower you could be getting and boost your fuel economy.

This also works as a great stabilizer. It can inhibit corrosion and oxidation.  This will help stabilize your fuel meaning that your car will still be ready to run at peak performance after off-season storage. This is a big plus if you have a car that you don’t want to take out in the inclement winter weather. Since it can work in both gasoline and diesel engines you can keep it in stock for any of the vehicles that you might find yourself working with in your home shop.

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Best Fuel System Cleaner – The Practical Buyer’s Guide

In order to give you the right knowledge to pick out your best option for a fuel system cleaner, it is important to have some background on these fuel additives.  Here we will do a break down on some of the important points, both as far as background and pointers on the way to use and select your perfect option.

What’s a Fuel Injector Cleaner and System Cleaner?

  • General Information

    fuel injector cleanerBefore delving too far into what a fuel injector cleaner is, let’s first go over the fuel injector itself. This part of your engine that delivers the correct amount of gasoline into the manifold, helping it to go from the liquid in your tank to the mist that works better for combustion.

    As you can no doubt guess, if your injector gets gunked up by foreign substances it won’t work as well and your vehicle won’t run as smoothly. There are a number of ways that these things could build up on your injectors, such as long periods of not being used or over heating.

    If foreign materials end up in your gas tank they can easily make their way to your injectors as well. Also, using poor quality fuels can cause build up.

  • How Fuel Injector Cleaners Work

    A fuel system cleaner works by dissolving the build up in the lines and valves of your vehicle’s fuel system. It is generally applied by adding a quality fuel additive when you refuel your vehicle. The additive mixes with the fuel and works through the system. The build up gets dissolved and is burnt off in the process of driving.

  • Main Chemicals Involved in the Best Fuel Treatments

    There are three main chemical compounds that you want to look for in your fuel system cleaner. Any bottle that claims to be a fuel cleaner that doesn’t tell you what it is made of should probably be shunned for something where you know what you’re getting. Polyisobutylene: This is commonly called PIB. It can be found in formulas for both gasoline and diesel additives and works to clean out build up and sediment. Some have even seen improvement in misfires and engine knock with this compound. Polyether Amine: You will probably find this one simply labeled PEA. This is a powerhouse compound, breaking down gunk that has solidified or is partially blocking lines. A major plus for this one is that there is no residue left in the system after use. Polyisobutylene Amine: This one is often called PIBA. It is similar to PIB, but it shines in reducing moisture. The down side to this compound is that since it is not great at cleaning the combustion chamber it should be used more in a maintenance role than the go to when you need to knock out build up gunk.

  • Efficiency

    One issue with looking at these is determining how effective they are. Sure, you can just empty a bottle into your tank and you’ll probably think that you notice some improvement. But unless your car was really riding rough, you might not be sure if the improvement is there or in your mind. One thing to remember is that if you are dealing with the build up in your engine you will most likely need more than one application. Most bottles that you get will be a single use, so you’ll have to consider the cost efficiency of these for a number of uses weighed against fuel efficiency of your car.

  • Fuel Injector Cleaner vs Fuel System Cleaner

    While many times these are used interchangeably when discussing some of the products on the market, there is a bit of a difference. A fuel injector cleaner is designed to clean the built up gunk off that particular valve. This alone can improve the performance of your car. A fuel system cleaner goes more in depth. These products will end up helping to clean out fuel lines as well as the gunk on the valve. In most cases, these are a better choice as they can improve the whole system instead of just on the component.

What Makes the Best Diesel Fuel Injector Cleaner

dieselDiesel is a rather dirty fuel, to begin with, so while you might argue that with quality modern gasoline a fuel cleaner isn’t necessary, but when it comes to diesel you are going to need to have one at one point or another. Luckily there are a number of cleaners that have been designed for diesel fuels.

Some cleaners will work in both gasoline and diesel engines, while others are formulated for just one type of engine.  You will want to double check that the style of cleaner that you end up selecting will work with your engine type.  If not, the best case is that the additive will just not work, but there is the possibility that it may cause some damage if it is not used properly.

How Do You Clean Fuel Injectors at Home?

There are a couple of options when it comes to cleaning out fuel filters at home. While you have the option to pay someone else to do the work, you can do the work yourself and save some money. The first option will no doubt give you a much cleaner system, but it will take work and skill.

You can purchase a fuel injector cleaner kit (like this one) and then remove your injectors. This method will require you to disconnect vacuum lines. This method means that you need to have the tools and skill to take out the injectors and then clean them. You will also need the confidence that you can get them back into your engine properly.

The other option is to use a fuel system cleaner. These only need you to put into the gas tank and let them do their work. This means that you don’t have to worry about not getting things properly aligned and you won’t have any down time that you can’t drive your car.

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At this point we will also remaind you about oil filter change. This is as important as the fuel filter change and must be done regularly. Find out more here.

How Do You Use Fuel Injector Cleaner?

At a very basic level, a fuel injector cleaner is simple to use. You’ll want to add the fuel additive to the gas tank.  However, there are a few things that you need to consider. First off, if you read the instructions on the bottle that you choose, you’ll see that each different companies recommend that you use a different amount with your tank.

You’ll also find that the instructions will specify a different tank size. That means that you will need to know the size tank of your particular vehicle. Some different companies will recommend the use of the entire bottle, while others ask to just use a small portion. The latter means that you will need to measure out amounts as you add them into your tank.

Do Fuel Additives Really Work?

There was a time when fuel additives didn’t do much for you or your car. However, today the best fuel treatments can really give you a boost while driving.  The first thing you will want to consider is the type of fuel additive you want to use based on what you want to accomplish.   One option is to go with an octane booster, these can boost performance.  We have covered these options in a previous article while debating about the best octane boosters on the market.

However, if you are looking to clean out your fuel system, which will, in the long run, boost your fuel efficiency, you will want to look at one of the modern fuel injector cleaners.  An important thing in determining how well they work is to follow the instructions. Many people will just dump a bottle into their tank and then not do anything else for six months to a year.

For the full effect, you will need to run a number of treatments to get all the build up out of your system. Once you accomplish that, you’ll want to continue to do a treatment every so often. This will help to ensure that you don’t end up with a further build up that robs performance.

Using Fuel Injector Additives When Your Car is Not Being Used

When your car is left without being used for an extended period of time the gas can start to break down. You’ll have to do something to deal without as that break down can foul the engine. One option is to drain the tank. This means that you will have to have a system to drain the tank and then when you want to use the car you’ll need to have gas on hand.

Another option is to add a stabilizing additive. These types of fuel additive will keep the gas from breaking down for up to two years.  While if you have a car that you only drive on the weekend you can just hop in and go. However, if you leave your car for a year or longer you will want to let your car idle for about 30 minutes prior to use.

What Does Fuel Treatment Cost?

fuel injector cleaner costOne thing that you need to consider is the amount that you are spending to keep your system clean. Some of the higher end fuels will have various cleansers and detergents included in them and may end up burning cleaner in your tank. However, there is quite a bit of a jump when it comes to going this route.

There is, of course, the option of paying someone to clean out your car’s fuel injector system. If you take it to a professional they will take the system apart and make sure that everything is cleaned. This can run between $50 and $80, but it also means that you won’t be able to use your car for a chunk of time and if your system is already clean you will be wasting that money.

One of the strong options of the fuel additive is the low cost. Each bottle runs between $10 and $20. Even if you have to do a few treatments in a row to ensure that your system doesn’t have any build up you’ll still end up saving money. Also, these types of solution can end up working while you are driving your car, so you don’t have any down time.

Now that you have a few reasons to pick a fuel system treatment the question falls to where to purchase your best option. You can go to a large store that has an automotive department, but they tend to have a limited selection. You can check your auto parts store and they might have a decent selection, but you are still tied to the options they felt like a stocking.

Perhaps a better choice is to go with an online option. There are lots of options out there, but a large trusted store like Amazon may be your best bet. With that kind of option you have a wide selection and competitive prices. Also, you can normally get a good deal on shipping so your choice of the best fuel system cleaner will show up right at your door.

This is a situation where you need to pay attention to some of the details on the label. First off you need to ensure that you have a product made to work with your fuel type. After that, you’ll want to make sure you get your dosage right. A bottle might work with a 15-gallon tank or might only want you to add an ounce for every 20 gallons. Finally, you will need to understand that seeing an improvement in performance might take a few applications. Alternatively, a lack of improvement may be a sign that you have a clean fuel system, to begin with.

Best Fuel Treatment – The Bottom Line

By this point, you should have all the information that you need to make a choice as far as your pick for the best fuel system cleaner. One important thing to remember is that you make a selection that will work for your particular fuel type. While many of our picks work with both gasoline or diesel, you can’t assume that a great gas option will also be the best diesel injector cleaner.

We highlighted six products that all would be stand out in their own right. The Techron Plus Fuel System Cleaner topped our list as the best product due to its quality and ability to help to get your car running at top notch again. If you are looking for a bargain and a high-quality option take a look at the offering from Sea Foam. It is inexpensive, but still performs well and can be added to either the fuel tank or your engine oil.

Check all fuel injector cleaners on Amazon

You’ll also find a buyer’s guide to help walk you through some of the basics as to what a fuel system cleaner is and how to select the right option for you. Lastly, we’d love to hear from you as far as your thoughts on any of the products we have selected.  Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


Easy to Use Techron Concentrate Plus

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